Monday, April 13, 2020

Language? Language? We Don't Need No Stinking Language!

These headless anapests of Lewis Carroll rollick onwards in their frolicksome procession and who are we to deny their sonic allure? Of course, the essence of an anapest is the idea of a reversal and what better expresses that idea than the sudden realization that one is speaking in a language that no one understands? The unfortunate Baker is literally going backwards as the sense of what he says is instantly translated into nonsense by his puzzled auditors.

Snarkologists call this sort of thing the Snarkosocratic Method, a kind of dialectic in which a question is responded to as though it were absolute nonsense. This in turn forces the questioner to endlessly repeat himself until his baffled auditors lose interest and finally go away.

Left alone in his splendidly impenetrable semiolinguistic Fortress of Solitude, the Baker is now free to concentrate his intellectual powers upon himself. Toying with the building-blocks of language and meaning, he will arrive at some sort of Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything in It … or perhaps not, there's no difference, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment